Boost Your Child’s Self Esteem and the Rest Will Follow May 11, 2015 – Posted in: Confidence, Relationships – Tags: bath mums, coaching, compassion, confidence, parenting, positive thinking
Confidence is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children, especially in this era of constant peer comparison on social media. But, how on earth do you instill self-belief into your child?
Aside from the basics of love, nurture, support and clear boundaries it’s my conviction that the more I allow my daughters to do things independently of me the more confidence they gain. This can be in the small things and in the bigger things. For example, my six-year-old wants to make her own squash at the moment, which, quite frankly, I’d rather she didn’t because she’ll make a sticky mess in the kitchen BUT for her self-esteem I need to allow her to do it. Because she’ll learn that she can and that’s she’s able. Taking this a step further and ensuring she cleans up the sticky mess herself and puts the bottle back in the cupboard also instills a sense of responsibility in her, which is another building block to confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I can easily fall into the trap of making the squash for her because it’s quicker and less messy but this will just cause me less hassle in the short term rather than instill self-belief in her in the long term.
On a similar note, my eldest wants an allowance because she’s craving more independence. It would be easy to just say ‘no, you’re too young’ or ‘yes, I’ll sort it’. But, what I’ve decided to do is allow her the opportunity to earn her allowance. She had a choice: empty the dishwasher every evening or make the lunch boxes. She chose the latter, I have one less job to do every night and she gets an ENORMOUS sense of self-esteem from earning her own money each month. This is another example of independence and responsibility in action.
And now to my middle child, who I’ve recently taught about monkeys… A few months ago she was really struggling with maths (despite her teacher reassuring her and I that she was doing well) and so I asked her what the monkey in her mind was telling her when she sat down to do her sums. She told me that the monkey was telling her she couldn’t do maths because it was too hard. I then told her that if she decided to ignore the monkey and believe in herself she’d be able to do her homework. So, she tried it and it worked! Now, whenever she’s worried I ask her if she’s believing in herself and from there she’s usually able to calm herself down and give the task in front of her another go.
Oh, and finally, the magic bullet when it comes to giving your children confidence is to teach them and show them that mistakes are a part of life. That if they screw up but learn from it then it was a life-lesson and not a failure. We need to remember this as parents, too. We can’t be perfect, we will get it wrong, but we’ll keep trying because we love our kids to bits. The more relaxed and confident we are in our parenting the more we’ll lead our kids by example and equip them with a sense that they are the amazing people we know them to be.